What soccer programs are there?

Merrick PAL offers four programs of Soccer:

1. Pee Wee Clinic is an introduction to fun soccer through games and drills for participants ages 3-6. Organized by 3rd party trainers. Low cost and largely volunteer driven. Sessions are held on Saturday mornings during the soccer season. Current registration fee: $65.

2. Intramural is team play organized by gender and grade. Low cost and volunteer driven. Promotes fun, good sportsmanship, and equal playing time for all participants. Provides community experiences (referee program). Open to kindergarteners through eighth grade depending on registration. Current registration fee: $65.

An addition to the intramural program for the Fall 2011 season is a free enrichment program for kindergarten and first grade boys and girls. This includes five sessions with our nationally licensed trainers. Again this is for intramural kindergarten and first grade boys and girls only. Dates and times to be announced.

3. Developmental is a program allowing players to enhance their intramural experience through professional training. 90-minute age group sessions are for all levels of players. The cost is $17.50 per session and the seasons run 8-10 weeks in the fall, winter, and spring. It is available for first though third grade students.

Developmental complements Intramural. This special training program takes the intramural experience to the next level and is designed for players who want to play more, improve their skills and technique, and who simply love soccer. Players in the Developmental program are eligible to participate in special tournaments and leagues in preparation for Travel Soccer. It’s a truly rewarding experience that has already gotten the attention of the Long Island soccer community.

At the helm of the program is Manfred Kapper, a well-known and respected Olympic trainer, who has assembled a veteran staff of former international professional players for our specific needs. All are US and European certified instructors at the highest level.

  • Current registration fee for Fall 2011 development training only: $140 for 9 sessions.
  • Fee for developmental training plus pre-travel league (8 games): $325.
  • Additional fees for typically optional participation tournaments.
  • Separate registration is required for the program via SportsSignup.
  • Must be registered for Intramural program to be part of Developmental Program.

4. Travel is competitive play in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), one of the largest youth soccer leagues in the United States. For age groups U10 through U19, LIJSL offers competition at a level appropriate to the overall skill level of the team. Tryouts occur each June for the various Merrick Travel Soccer teams and as a club, Merrick PAL typically has multiple teams in each age group. Tryout schedules are announced in local newspapers (e.g. Merrick Life) and on the Merrick PAL website. Players selected participate on the travel team for the entire calendar year (Fall and Spring seasons). To participate the following year a player MUST try out again. Travel teams generally hire a professional trainer whose fees are paid by the individual team. While parent volunteers administer the team’s activities and may assist with game management, the trainer generally runs team practices and manages most aspects of the team’s matches.

Merrick PAL accepts applications from parent volunteers interested in becoming a travel team adult supervisor. Applications are reviewed by the Merrick PAL travel soccer board and adult supervisors are selected to work with the trainers and players to provide a fun and rewarding soccer experience.

In addition to weekly LIJSL matches against competition from across Long Island (about half the games are “road” games), teams generally conduct two or three practices each week and may participate in various tournaments and/or indoor/winter leagues. Each LIJSL season is typically 9 outdoor games – sometimes 8 or 10 depending on the number of teams in the division.

The league registration cost is currently $150 per player. Additional costs include hiring the professional trainer generally ranging between $400 and $550 per player per season. Other costs may include tournament fees and related travel, indoor facilities for winter practices, or additional training.

Merrick PAL’s Travel Soccer Board makes a concerted effort to field appropriate travel teams for committed Merrick players. Being on a travel team is a year-round commitment.

For more information, please contact:

Skip Haile
President – Merrick PAL Travel Soccer
(516) 410-3762

It is better to build youth than mend adults.